Ukrainian World Congress marks Human Rights Day
On December 10, 2019, the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) and the 20-million strong Ukrainian diaspora join the international community in marking Human Rights Day.
On this day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – a milestone document proclaiming the inalienable rights to which everyone is inherently entitled as a human being.
Sadly, in many parts of the world fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals continue to be violated by aggressors and autocratic regimes seeking greater control and power at the cost of human dignity and life. Ukrainians are among those who, as a result of the ongoing aggression by Russia in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of eastern Ukraine, continue to suffer the consequences of military action. Since the illegal occupation of Crimea in 2014 serious violations and abuses committed against the residents of Crimea persist, including extrajudicial killings, abductions, enforced disappearances and politically motivated prosecutions.
On December 9, during the Normandy format meeting the leaders of Ukraine, France, Germany and Russia agreed to the release and exchange of individuals as a result of the conflict by the end of the year on the basis of “all for all”, and beginning with “all identified for all identified”. However, we must not forget about the political prisoners currently languishing in Russian prisons, hostages being held by the Russian Federation on occupied Ukrainian territory, nor about the blatant human rights violations on illegally occupied by Russia Crimea.
On December 18, 2019, the UN General Assembly will vote on the resolution “Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine”.
On this Human Rights Day, we pay tribute to all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world.
We also honour all those standing bravely today in Ukraine and in other countries against tyrannical regimes, and the human rights activists who tirelessly remain the voices of the oppressed.
“As the world unites in observing Human Rights Day, we vow to share the stories of those whose voices have been silenced and ensure that they are not forgotten by the international community while remaining vigilant of attempts by violators to deny anyone their inalienable rights,” stated UWC President Paul Grod.
Make your contribution on this Human Rights Day to raise awareness of human rights violations by participating in the Postcards for Political Prisoners campaign. (Details are on the UWC site.) Send a postcard to a political prisoner and post a photo on social media. These postcards provide moral support to the prisoners, connect them with the outside world, show them they are not forgotten, and remind them that we’re working for their release. The Russian authorities are reminded that the world is watching.